Sunday, August 3, 2008

How to Pick a Baby Name

I have no idea.

It was pretty hard picking a name for MetaToddler. We didn't know his sex beforehand, either, so we had to pick a name for a boy and girl, just in case. In the end, we were really lucky he was a boy because we were only able to compromise on one name, and it wouldn't have worked for a girl.

Our problem is that MetaDaddy prefers something familiar, strong, traditional. I want a name that's unique and has character, but isn't so rare that people look at you funny when you say it. Having grown up with a name no one has ever heard of, I can assure you that getting through school is a tough row to hoe. If you're teacher can't get it right,'re screwed for that school year.

So, how did we find something that's unique enough to me, but strong and traditional enough for MetaDaddy? We went to Ireland. There are a lot of very unique non-American names, but like I said, I didn't want it to be too hard to spell or pronounce. So Niamh (pronounced like Neve) and the like were off the table. Oh sure, we considered them, but in the end, they just didn't last on the short list.

Here are some of the sites I visited often then, and have come back to a lot over the past few weeks:

Think Baby Names - Scroll through a whole bunch of popular names in the U.S., and several other countries.

Baby Names World - You can search by sex, cultural origin, popularity ratings, and various other criteria. Very refined results.

Baby Name Network - International names from various different cultures.

Baby Name World - International names from various different cultures.

Nymbler - Enter up to 6 names as "inspiration," and the Nymbler returns a bunch of names that you might like.

Name Nerds - Find yourself a good, strong Irish name :-)

So, in the end I've learned this. Picking a name for a human being other than yourself is a daunting challenge. How to do help this poor kid get through life without the embarrassment of a name that's too weak, unfamiliar, generic, etc. I know that you can come to appreciate your rare name, but heck, there's a whole lotta pain and suffering to get to that point. And honestly, if you're not leaving the kid a mega trust fund, it just hardly seems fair to pick celebrity names like Apple, Poppy Honey, Fifi Trixibelle or Moon Unit.

I'm just saying.


Anonymous said...

You saw that AP story out of New Zealand right? The one where the kid was named "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii"

MetaMommy said...

I don't really like the idea of a judge nixing my choice of names, but OMG! That poor kid. I mean, just imagine signing checks. She probably ended up with a nice, clean name like Jane.